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Having the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes necessary to make informed decisions on scientific issues.

Science on Saturday lecture series kicks off with tribute to PPPL engineer and SOS host

As hundreds of people gathered for the first day of the newly-named Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday lecture series on Jan. 10, many of the regular attendees remembered the PPPL engineer who was the organizer and informal host of the series for more than 20 years.

“As soon as I read it I was devastated because I didn’t know anything about it,” said Gary Grubb, of Hightstown, about Hatcher’s death last March at age 56. “Just to walk in here and hear kind words on a cold winter day is great.”

PPPL’s science lecture debuts Jan. 10 with new name honoring long-time organizer

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Laboratory’s popular Science on Saturday lecture series will have a new name when it begins on Jan. 10. “The Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday Lecture Series” honors the late PPPL engineer who spent some 20 years organizing the series and serving as the unofficial master of ceremonies.

The free nine-week lecture series will continue to offer a wide variety of science topics from top experts in their fields aimed at a high school level. This year’s series features several lectures by PPPL scientists.

COLLOQUIUM: Worlds Seen for the First Time - Ceres and Pluto

This year, planetary spacecraft will visit two significant bodies in the solar system. These bodies are the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto. Ceres was first discovered in 1801 and thought to be a planet. It was only realized 50 years later that Ceres was a member of a huge number of objects in what we now know as the asteroid belt. The Dawn spacecraft was just captured into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. After spending more than a year at another asteroid called Vesta and spending 2.5 years finally getting to Ceres.

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